Burning of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala

Burning of the Spanish EmbassySpanish embassy fireSpanish Embassy Massacre1980 Spanish Embassy attack in Guatemala Cityfire that consumed the building
The Burning of the Spanish Embassy (sometimes called the Spanish Embassy Massacre or the Spanish Embassy Fire) refers to the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on January 31st, 1980, by indigenous peasants of the Committee for Peasant Unity and their allies and the subsequent police raid that resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead.wikipedia
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Guatemala City

Guatemala City, GuatemalaCiudad de GuatemalaGuatemala
The Burning of the Spanish Embassy (sometimes called the Spanish Embassy Massacre or the Spanish Embassy Fire) refers to the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on January 31st, 1980, by indigenous peasants of the Committee for Peasant Unity and their allies and the subsequent police raid that resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead.
During the Guatemalan Civil War, terror attacks beginning with the burning of the Spanish Embassy in 1980 led to severe destruction and loss of life in the city.

Guatemala

GuatemalanRepublic of GuatemalaGTM
The Burning of the Spanish Embassy (sometimes called the Spanish Embassy Massacre or the Spanish Embassy Fire) refers to the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on January 31st, 1980, by indigenous peasants of the Committee for Peasant Unity and their allies and the subsequent police raid that resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead.
The Guatemalan government armed forces launched an assault that killed almost everyone inside in a fire that consumed the building.

Committee for Peasant Unity

The Burning of the Spanish Embassy (sometimes called the Spanish Embassy Massacre or the Spanish Embassy Fire) refers to the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on January 31st, 1980, by indigenous peasants of the Committee for Peasant Unity and their allies and the subsequent police raid that resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead.
In response, the government intensified its persecution of its critics, culminating in the Burning of the Spanish Embassy by police forces: a number of CUC members and university students had staged a peaceful occupation of the building, to protest land seizures and arbitrary killings in rural areas.

Máximo Cajal López

Máximo Cajal y LópezMáximo Cajal
Ambassador Máximo Cajal y López who had visited the Ixil and Kiche regions in the previous weeks, was holding a meeting with former vice president of Guatemala Eduardo Cáceres Lenhoff and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Adolfo Molina Orantes and lawyer Mario Aguirre Godoy, when the group entered the embassy.
He was the Spanish ambassador to Guatemala in 1980 and was one of the two survivors of the burning of the Spanish Embassy (the other being Guatemalan lawyer Mario Aguirre Godoy).

Guerrilla Army of the Poor

EGPEjército Guerrillero de los Pobres
The peasants were organized, guided and joined by members of the Comité de Unidad Campesina (Committee of Peasant Unity) and a radical student organization known as the Robin García Revolutionary Student Front, groups associated with the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres (EGP, the Guerrilla Army of the Poor).
In response, the government intensified its persecution of its critics, culminating in the Burning of the Spanish Embassy by police forces.

Rigoberta Menchú

Rigoberta Menchú TumI, Rigoberta Menchú, An Indian Woman in GuatemalaMenchú, Rigoberta
A total of 36 people died in the fire, including former vice president Eduardo Cáceres Lenhoff, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Adolfo Molina Orantes and activist Vicente Menchú, father of Rigoberta Menchú, a future politician and Nobel Peace Prize-winner. In 1999, Rigoberta Menchú filed a criminal complaint in Spain accusing former government officials of responsibility for the incident, including former Presidents Romeo Lucas Garcia, Efraín Ríos Montt and Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores.
Her father, Vicente, died in the 1980 Burning of the Spanish Embassy, which occurred after urban guerrillas took hostages and were attacked by government security forces.

Eduardo Cáceres

Eduardo Cáceres LenhoffEduardo Rafael Cáceres LehnhoffEduardo Rafael Cáceres Lenhoff
Ambassador Máximo Cajal y López who had visited the Ixil and Kiche regions in the previous weeks, was holding a meeting with former vice president of Guatemala Eduardo Cáceres Lenhoff and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Adolfo Molina Orantes and lawyer Mario Aguirre Godoy, when the group entered the embassy.
Died 31 January 1980 in the Burning of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala-City.

Óscar Humberto Mejía Víctores

Óscar Humberto Mejía VictoresÓscar Humberto MejíaÓscar Mejía
In 1999, Rigoberta Menchú filed a criminal complaint in Spain accusing former government officials of responsibility for the incident, including former Presidents Romeo Lucas Garcia, Efraín Ríos Montt and Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores.
She is the daughter of one of the peasant leaders who died in the Spanish Embassy massacre on 31 January 1980.

Fernando Romeo Lucas García

Fernando Romeo Lucas GarciaRomeo Lucas GarcíaLucas García
In 1999, Rigoberta Menchú filed a criminal complaint in Spain accusing former government officials of responsibility for the incident, including former Presidents Romeo Lucas Garcia, Efraín Ríos Montt and Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores. President Fernando Romeo Lucas García, Guatemala City police chief Germán Chupina Barahona, and Minister of the Interior Donaldo Álvarez Ruiz met in the National Palace.
He was president during Spanish embassy fire in Guatemala City on 31 January 1980, in which 37 people died.

List of diplomatic missions of Spain

Spanish EmbassySpainDiplomatic missions of Spain
The Burning of the Spanish Embassy (sometimes called the Spanish Embassy Massacre or the Spanish Embassy Fire) refers to the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on January 31st, 1980, by indigenous peasants of the Committee for Peasant Unity and their allies and the subsequent police raid that resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead.

Guatemalan Civil War

civil warGuatemala Civil WarGuatemala
The incident has been called "the defining event" of the Guatemalan Civil War.

Kʼicheʼ people

K'icheK'iche' MayaKʼicheʼ
In January 1980 a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers, recruited for a march to Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán, in Quiché department, by elements of the Guatemalan Army.

Ixil people

IxilIxil Mayagenocide of indigenous Mayans
In January 1980 a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers, recruited for a march to Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán, in Quiché department, by elements of the Guatemalan Army.

Uspantán

San Miguel UspantánSan Miguel Uspantan
In January 1980 a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers, recruited for a march to Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán, in Quiché department, by elements of the Guatemalan Army.

Quiché Department

El QuichéQuichéEl Quiche
In January 1980 a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers, recruited for a march to Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán, in Quiché department, by elements of the Guatemalan Army.

Congress of the Republic of Guatemala

CongressCongress of GuatemalaCongress of the Republic
The protesters were denied a hearing in Congress and their legal adviser was assassinated.

Molotov cocktail

Molotov cocktailspetrol bombpetrol bombs
According to police reports, some of the demonstrators were armed with machetes, pistols and Molotov cocktails.

Spain

SpanishESPKingdom of Spain
Spain was considered sympathetic to the indigenous cause, especially after the Guatemalan Army came to be suspected in the murder of Spanish priests in the indigenous regions.

President of Guatemala

PresidentGuatemalan PresidentPresidents of Guatemala
President Fernando Romeo Lucas García, Guatemala City police chief Germán Chupina Barahona, and Minister of the Interior Donaldo Álvarez Ruiz met in the National Palace.

National Palace (Guatemala)

National PalacePalacio Nacional de la CulturaGuatemalan National Palace
President Fernando Romeo Lucas García, Guatemala City police chief Germán Chupina Barahona, and Minister of the Interior Donaldo Álvarez Ruiz met in the National Palace.

Diplomatic immunity

immunitydiplomats immunity from arrestimmune
SWAT police proceeded to occupy the first and third floors of the building over the shouts of the ambassador that they were violating international law in doing so.

David Stoll

Stoll, David
Some academics and critics, including David Stoll and Jorge Palmieri, contend that it was the Molotov cocktails alone that started the blaze.

Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel PrizePeaceNobel Prize for Peace
A total of 36 people died in the fire, including former vice president Eduardo Cáceres Lenhoff, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Adolfo Molina Orantes and activist Vicente Menchú, father of Rigoberta Menchú, a future politician and Nobel Peace Prize-winner.